Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns)

Gua Bao or Steamed Sandwich Buns (literally means “cut bun”), also called sandwich bun or foldover bun. Likewise, it is a typical Taiwanese street food that originated from Fujian in Southeastern China. Moreover, they commonly called gua bao as Taiwanese hamburger or “tiger bites pig” in Taiwan. As the bun resembles the mouth of a tiger. Traditionally, the gua bao fillings consist of stewed pork belly and stir fried pickled mustard green. Then garnish with coriander and ground peanuts.

Popular savoury gua bao filling variations include fried fish, eggs, stewed beef, fried chicken and eggs. As well as vegetables and for those with sweet tooth, fillings can include jams and fruits. You can also make the same dough for these gua bao (steamed sandwich buns) into fluffy steamed buns or mantou. In addition, you can also serve the savoury 5 spice pulled beef fillings with steamed rice.

Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns) Gluten Free

Gluten Free Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef

For my gluten free gua bao recipe, I made stewed five spice beef brisket as my main gua bao filling. Besides, I cooked the beef brisket in pressure cooker and then shredded to make pulled beef. In addition, I added shredded carrots and cucumber, then garnish with fresh chilli, coriander and spring onion. Then serve in gluten free steamed sandwich buns. This gua bao recipe is also dairy free, soy free, nut free, egg free and refined sugar free. 

Furthermore, you can serve this stewed five spice beef brisket with plain steamed rice. Or even ready-made store bought gluten free buns if preferred. The best way to cook these gua bao (steamed sandwich buns) is using a wok with a steaming rack. Fill the wok with some water and place the bamboo steamer on top of the steaming rack. 

Check out my other ban recipes below:

Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns) Gluten Free

What is Beef Brisket?

Many people consider beef brisket as a regular cut of beef. Likewise, they use it mainly for corned beef, barbecue roast, pot roast or stews. This cut is from the cow’s breast section just below its first five ribs and above the forelegs. Moreover, they the flat cut or flat half of the brisket as the healthier and leaner half. Because it has less calories (also called first cut or thin cut). Lean brisket can be a good addition to a healthy diet if eaten in moderation.

Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns) Gluten Free

Nutritional Values of Beef Brisket

Beef brisket is not only high in protein, but complete with all the essential 9 amino acids. In addition, brisket contains high levels of oleic acid that aids in increasing the levels of good cholesterol. As well as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and at the same time reducing the bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Olive oil also contains oleic acid. Lean brisket is contains many vitamins and minerals. It is a substantial source of the B group of vitamins. Including vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and vitamin B12. Lean brisket is also an excellent source of minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium.

Health Benefits of Beef Brisket

On the whole, health benefits of lean brisket may include:

  • Prevention of diabetes;
  • Lower risks of high cholesterol;
  • Reduced risk of cancerous cells growth;
  • Support healthy red blood cells; and
  • Stimulate energy in the body.
Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns) Gluten Free
Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns) Gluten Free

Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns)

Daphne Goh
Gua Bao, also called steamed sandwich bun or foldover bun, is a delicious Taiwanese street food that originated from Fujian in Southeastern China.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Buns, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 14 buns
Calories 631.26 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil for brushing the buns
  • ¼ cup rice flour for dusting
  • 1.5 kg beef brisket (lean flat cut), trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 star anise medium
  • 6 cloves garlic

For the Sauce:

For the Garlic and Ginger Oil:

  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
  • 3 inch ginger peeled and cut into fine chopsticks
  • 3 spring onions thinly sliced into 1cm lengthwise
  • 3 sprigs coriander roughly cut into 1 to 2 cm lengthwise

For the Dough:

Dry Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:

For the Garnish:

  • 3 long fresh red chilli deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 oriental cucumber halved and deseeded and finely shredded
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and finely shredded
  • 3 spring onions thinly sliced into 1cm lengthwise
  • 3 sprigs coriander including stems, roughly cut into 1 to 2 cm lengthwise

Instructions
 

For cooking the pulled beef using instant pot pressure cooker function:

  • Mix and combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl using a hand whisk.
  • Add all the beef pieces into the instant pot, then add the sauce prepared in step 1, stir and mix well.
  • Using pressure cooker function, cook the marinated beef for 35 minutes until the beef is soft and tender and pulls apart easily.
  • Remove the beef pieces from the instant pot and place on a chopping board, with 2 forks, tear and shred the beef into smaller pieces.
  • Add the shredded beef into a large bowl.
  • Reserve the sauce from the cooked beef by running the sauce through a fine sieve and place in a medium bowl.
  • Pour ½ cup of the reserved sauce into the shredded beef in step 5. Stir and combine well. Reserve the rest as additional sauce to serve.

For the Garlic and Ginger Oil:

  • Heat up a non-stick frying pan with 8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and stir-fry the garlic and ginger on low heat until lightly golden.
  • Add the spring onions and coriander and stir fry for 2 minutes. Then add the dry sherry, sesame oil and mix well. Turn off the heat.
  • Drizzle the garlic and ginger oil into the shredded beef prepared in step 7. Toss and combine well.

For the dough:

  • In a large bowl, combine and whisk together all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture.
  • Warm up the rice milk in a small pot for 2 minutes. Then add the extra virgin olive oil, agave syrup and vanilla extract and mix and combine well.
  • Add the wet ingredients mixture prepared in step 2 into the well of the flour mixture and mix and combine well with a spatula.
  • Then use your hands to knead the dough in the large bowl until you have a smooth dough that resembles thick creamy ice cream.
  • Cover the dough with cling wrap and let the dough rest on the benchtop for 1 hour.
  • Divide the dough into 14 balls (around 95g/3.4oz each). Dust the benchtop and rolling pin with some gluten free flour. Flatten and roll the balls into 5 inch oval shape dough with the middle slightly thicker than the edges.
  • Then brush a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil on the dough surface facing up.
  • Fold into semicircle and place on top of a piece of parchment paper and press lightly. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest for another 15 minutes.
  • Heat up a wok with a steaming rack with some water and place the bamboo steamer on top of the steaming rack. Steam the buns for 10 minutes on high heat in batches. Ensure that there is sufficient water in the wok for the whole steaming process. Repeat until all the buns are cooked. You can use any type of steamer.

For serving the pulled beef buns:

  • Pull open the steamed buns gently while they are still warm and add some shredded carrots, cucumber and pulled beef into each bun.
  • Garnish with some red chillies, spring onions and coriander and serve.

Notes

*Allergens*: Sesame and yeast.
Nutrition Facts
Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns)
Serving Size
 
1 bun
Amount per Serving
Calories
631.26
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
28.65
g
44
%
Saturated Fat
 
5.64
g
35
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3.13
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
17.64
g
Cholesterol
 
66.43
mg
22
%
Sodium
 
849.01
mg
37
%
Potassium
 
867.38
mg
25
%
Carbohydrates
 
65.42
g
22
%
Fiber
 
2.92
g
12
%
Sugar
 
16.75
g
19
%
Protein
 
26.12
g
52
%
Vitamin A
 
1684.93
IU
34
%
Vitamin C
 
19.16
mg
23
%
Calcium
 
107.03
mg
11
%
Iron
 
4.09
mg
23
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Beef, Chinese Steamed Buns, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Gluten Free Bao Buns, Gluten Free Chinese Bao, Nut Free, Refined Sugar Free, Soy Free
Did you make this recipe?Tag me on Instagram @healthygfasian or tag #healthygfasian!

Subscribe To My Newsletter For The Latest Gluten Free Asian Recipes

Daphne Goh Gluten Free Asian Recipes Healthy gf Asian

2 thoughts on “Gua Bao with 5 Spice Pulled Beef (Steamed Sandwich Buns)”

  1. Can you freeze and reheat the buns at all? 14 is too many for us for one sitting but I don’t want to scale down the recipe if I can help it ☺️

    Reply
    • Hi Jay,

      You can freeze these buns on a plate in the freezer. Once they are frozen, place them in zip lock bags. Just defrost them before heating up by steaming or in microwave. 🙂

      Reply
5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.